Like the majority of Americans, I like fast food. I don't eat it every day, but I do eat it more than I should. A refresher for those of you who haven't seen the movie in a while: Spurlock ate McDonald's for every meal for a month. He had to have everything on the menu once. If they asked him, "would you like to supersize that?" he had to answer yes. In the process, he gained 24.5 lbs (11.1kg), his cholesterol went from a very healthy 168 to 240 (!), his liver profile showed signs of encroaching liver failure, he started spilling protein into his urine, and he experienced decreased energy, depression, lowered sex drive, and general ickiness.
Another disturbing part of the film was how fast food companies and lobbying groups grab our children's focus from the time they are wee ones so that fast food becomes a regular part of their lives and one they crave. In one scene, none of the children could identify a picture of Jesus, but all of them knew who Ronald McDonald was. Brand imprinting and loyalty lobbying is scary stuff and adversely affects the health of our families.
After watching "Supersize Me" I made a series of resolutions. First, when I take William out to eat I will look for restaurants with healthier food choices. The other day we went to Panera. On my little town, the only healthy fast food we have is Chipotle. Guess we'll be eating a lot of burritos.
Second, and I'm not sure how this is going to happen, meal toys have got to go. Rewarding a child for eating chicken nuggets and french fries has always seemed all higgeldy piggeldy to me. Instead, why don't we reward kids for trying new, healthy things? I gave William a Hot Wheels car when he tried apples. He didn't like them (it happened to be a REALLY sour apple), but he tried it. Then again, I can't bribe my kid to try all of his food, so again, I'll have to think this one out.
Third, when I cook I've got to go old school and get away from prepackaging or at least cut down on it. It's easier to cook with prepacked stuff, but it's not as healthy.
Fourth, "meat and two veg" is going to be my new mantra. This isn't going to be the easiest because there is very little meat that this family likes (we love beef, you'd think we were cattle ranchers), so on a lot of days, this will turn into "legume, grain, and two veg." To that end, when I do buy meat I will buy grain fed, antibiotic free, free range meat. Have you noticed how horrifying chicken tastes these days? I suppose if you live in a cage that you couldn't move in eating your own excrement and were pumped full of antibiotics constantly you'd taste bad, too. Fortunately, we live near a lot of Amish people so Amish free range chicken isn't hard to come buy, but it is a wee bit pricey.
Why is it that we have to spend more money to eat well? Why is it that Panera is SO much more expensive than McDonald's? It's not that eating healthier is really all that more difficult, but it does cost more.
So there you go. I've got my subscription to Taste of Home on my Nook and I'm going to see if they have any other healthy cooking with normal food magazines available. No braised baby sweetbreads with capers and cilantro (wouldn't that be terrible?!) for this family, this Bon Appetite is out.